Mon, October 25, 2010
World > Americas > Cholera outbreak in Haiti, Nigeria

Charity steps up Haiti aid efforts

2010-10-25 07:00:29 GMT2010-10-25 15:00:29 (Beijing Time)

A cholera victim is brought for treatment to St Marc hospital, north of Port-au-Prince, on October 22. Haiti's cholera crisis deepened Sunday as the first cases in the capital raised fears the epidemic could infiltrate Port-au-Prince's squalid tent cities and spawn a major health disaster.(AFP/File/Thony Belizaire)

A Haitian child receives treatment at St Marc hospital north of Port-au-Prince. An epidemic of cholera that has ravaged northern and central Haiti killing 220 people has reached the country's densely populated capital, according to UN health officials. (AFP/Thony Belizaire)

Approximately 220,000 people were killed in the seven-magnitude earthquake on January 12, which left hundreds of thousands of others injured and homeless living in tented accommodation.

According to UN reports, 253 people have died from the cholera outbreak within the last seven days, mostly centred in the Artibonite region of central Haiti, north of the country’s earthquake-devastated capital Port-au-Prince.

Cholera causes acute diarrhoea leaving patients at risk of dying of dehydration if left untreated.

Save the Children spokeswoman Sarah Jacobs warned that children, toddlers and babies were most vulnerable to cholera as they had less fluid in their bodies and were physically not as strong.

The charity has around 800 workers on the ground as part of a co-ordinated Government response with other aid agencies and the UN.

Work is under way to educate families about protecting themselves through proper hygiene and providing medical supplies including rehydration tablets.

Ms Jacobs said: “Cholera spreads through contaminated water. More than one million people are still living in camps in Port-au-Prince. When it rains children play in the puddles, sanitation is still poor in some camps and young people do not know what the dangers are.”

She added: “We are ramping up our work. There have been five cases of cholera in Port au Prince, but these cases came from the affected region and were being treated in isolation. The danger is if the disease does spread there are many people living in cramped conditions. If we are not ready to respond quickly it could be catastrophic.”

Public donations to the Disasters Emergency Committee’s appeal to help Haiti survivors following the earthquake exceeded £103 million.


Add Your Comments:

Your Name:
Your Country:
(English Only)
Please read our Terms of Service. Messages that harass, abuse or threaten others; have obscene or otherwise objectionable content; have spam, commercial or advertising content or links may be removed.